Drones to supply medicines: Telangana

This project was first implemented in Rwanda where the delivery time for medical goods was cut from four hours to 15 minutes.

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Drone
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HYDERABAD:  The State, along with the World Economic Forum (WEF), is planning to airdrop health supplies to remote areas of Adilabad and Karimnagar through drones.

There is a major medical supply gap in these areas due to poor roads, difficult terrain and because routes are often washed out during monsoons.

Through drones, Telangana’s Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITEC) department expects to deliver these medicines quicker than conventional methods.

This WEF project was first implemented in Rwanda where the delivery time for medical goods was cut from four hours to 15 minutes.

The State will adopt the framework designed by WEF and Healthnet Global Limited, an Apollo Hospitals Group company.

Also read: Telangana to boost medical device mfg sector

The State, however, will first have to demonstrate the capability of the drones in delivering medicines at Begumpet airport in March.

Officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, World Economic Forum and others will be present at the demonstration. 

As part of the project, one central distribution centre each will be set up in Adilabad and Karimnagar respectively, said Rama Devi Lanka, OSD in Emerging Technologies of the IT department.

The drones will take off from these distribution centres and supply drugs based on demand.

Presently, the State has identified four medicinal goods that can be dropped through drones — bloodstock, vaccines, long-tail medicines (to reduce deaths caused by snakebites or rabies) and diagnostic specimens. 

Also read: Smuggling of drugs with drones

A few drone startups, including a few from Hyderabad, have submitted their proposals and the State is now in the process of evaluating them, said an official.

IT and Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said, “We are committed to delivering medicines through drones and are working towards that.”

State to first supply blood stock, long-tail medicines, vaccines

As part of the project, one central distribution centre each will be set up in Adilabad and Karimnagar respectively.

The drones will take off from these distribution centres and supply based on demand.

The State will drop blood stock, vaccines, long tail medicines (to reduce deaths caused by snakebites) and diagnostic specimens.

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